This Canadian band opens this disc with the title song, Sweet As The Grain, and it is so eerie how much the band's sound harkens back to Poco or the Gram Parsons led Byrds that it almost uncanny. The rest of the disc falls into place, though this first cut really stands out. It doesn't change much from there and this is not a knock because there are very few bands that have the jangly guitars or the harmonies to make it work. This is a 5-man group and four of them lay claim to vocals which accounts for the great harmonies and it has filtered down from friends that have seen the group that it is Rey Sabatin Jr. that does most of the lead vocal work. One kind of confusing item is in the notes, after each song there is a name or perhaps two in the place generally filled by the writer of the songs, yet further down it says all songs written and arranged by The John Henrys? That aside the disc is a solid example of what might be called that Southern California Country Rock sound. The music is infectious and is going to have you tapping your toes and maybe getting out the old boots and grabbing a partner and doing the Two-Step. There are a couple of songs that seem to get away from the L.A. sound and head a little further east to Bakersfield and that means honky-tonk music a la Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Either style they do it well and will have you up and dancing with their infectious brand of music.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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